Nintendo's upcoming console, codenamed NX, is likely the one among the next three consoles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft about which people know the least. However, even with that lack of knowledge, there has been plenty of discussion about it and enough rumors about it to last a lifetime.
Part of the discussion about the NX has come from third-party publishers and developers who, despite admitting they don't know much about the console, have still expressed plenty of interest in it — even those you might not suspect, such as Take Two. However, all of them always stopped short of outright vowing to support it.
Now, that streak has come to an end after Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment president David Haddad revealed that the publisher intends to support the NX down the line, saying that its support of the console is "unquestionable."
"We have great relationships with all the console platforms. We believe we play a role in each of them," he said. "What I saw with the announcements that were made at [E3 2016] — I'm fairly bullish about the console cycle, about gamers spending time on them and finding great content, about publishers being able to find returns on increasing investments in that space."
"We're constantly deciding how to navigate that, but supporting them is not a question for us."
This, in theory, is great news, as many people can tell you that the success of any console is highly dependent on the contributions of third-party developers and publishers. In fact, this is something that the Wii U lacked, and it was this lack of content that caused the system to suffer later down the road.
With that in mind, it would be easy to consider Warner Bros.' vow to support the NX, a victory for Nintendo, but that declaration would be coming a bit too early.
Why? Because, unlike many other publishers, Warner Bros.' already had a strong relationship with Nintendo (as was already by Haddad himself) and contributed an assortment of games to the Wii U library throughout its lifespan, such as Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure.
In fact, while other companies began to slowly cut ties with Nintendo when the Wii U began to struggle, Warner Bros. stuck around and continued to support both the company and the ailing console.
It's because of this reason that the aforementioned vow means little for Nintendo and the NX. Yes, the support is great, but the support was already a forgone conclusion. Why would a company that has supported a Nintendo console, even as it was struggling, not vow to support one that has been generating genuine excitement for the past several months? Nintendo doesn't gain anything from the support that it didn't already have before.
Again, the vote of confidence is great, but what Nintendo really needs is to attract developers and publishers who distanced themselves from it in recent years. Support from companies like Take Two, EA and Activision would be huge for Nintendo, especially considering the popularity of their core titles.
Nintendo is going to need far more help than just one publisher if it wants to the NX to be successful, especially if said publisher has already been a presence on its consoles when sales suffered. It will just be a repeat of the previous generation.